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Archive for October, 2011

Oct. 31, 2011 — County tournaments gone wild

This afternoon at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, N.J., the county tournament season in New Jersey finished with a meeting between two teams — Pennington Hopewell Valley Central (N.J.) and The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School — who were not known for participating in them.

For much of the late 1980s and through the 1990s, Hopewell Valley did not participate in the tournament, choosing instead to use the Saturday dates of the Mercer County Tournament to schedule guaranteed games instead of having to fill in dates if the Bulldogs lost.

Lawrenceville, for its part, had been part of a 10-year boycott of the tournament because of the issue of postgraduate players. But earlier this year, Lawrenceville’s athletic department voted to allow the field hockey, cross-country, and wrestling teams to participate.

The tournament, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, was capped off by an exciting 4-3 win by the Big Red of Lawrenceville. Sarah Culhane led the victors with three goals, spoiling a magnificent effort by Hopewell Valley’s Alicia Wagner, who had a hat trick for the Bulldogs.

I’ve always liked the county tournament season in New Jersey, because it is a month-long smorgasbord of single-elimination tournaments that prepare teams for the pressure of state tournament competition and are often the only chance for some teams to face each other over the course of the season.

This is especially the case with the Shore Conference Tournament, which takes only the top 22 teams out of roughly 40 in the Shore Conference. And for the 13th straight year, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.) won the SCT yesterday. The Blue Devils got a goal from Alyssa Ercolino in a 1-0 win over Freehold (N.J.) Borough in a game that had to be moved from Holmdel (N.J.) because of the weekend snowstorm that dumped up to three feet of snow in a large swath from West Virginia to Maine.

A few miles northwest at Kean University yesterday afternoon, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) dominated Clark Johnson Regional (N.J.) 5-1 to win the Union County Tournament. The contest was the eight straight UCT championship final to include both squads, but it was the first time that either team was ranked No. 1 in the TopOfTheCircle.com Top 10. The pressure did not affect the Royals Theresa Benvenuti, who had two goals and three assists on the afternoon.

Another team that dominated its competition was Madison (N.J.), which won its 17th Morris County Tournament championship with a 3-1 win over Chester West Morris Central (N.J.). Lexi Dellavia scored in the 17th and 46th minutes to give the Dodger the victory. It was the 35th Morris County Tournament championship.

But in only the second Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex championship game (the first one having never been played because of scheduling considerations), Washington Warren Hills (N.J.) won one on the field with a 3-1 victory over Sussex High Point (N.J.). The championship game was the first that Warren Hills has won, having fallen short of winning the NJSIAA Tournament on several occasions. The Streaks therefore come out of this season of county tournaments as a definite team to watch for Group III honors.

Another dark horse could be East Brunswick (N.J.), which had waited an entire year for another crack at the Greater Middlesex Conference tournament championship after being shut out by South Plainfield (N.J.). But this time around, Lauren Cram had a pair of goals in a 3-1 win for the Bears, who won their first outright GMC Tournament since 2005.

The Passaic County Tournament saw defending champion Wayne Hills (N.J.) get back to the championship, only to lose 3-1 to West Milford (N.J.). Samantha Browne had the hat trick for the new champions.

The Bergen County Tournament was shered this year between Ramsey (N.J.) and Allendale Northern Highlands (N.J.). Northern Highlands, in winning its fourth straight championship, got a goal in the final 30 seconds from Casey Colangelo to level the match. Since 20 minutes of extra time failed to yield another goal, co-champions were declared.

In the Somerset County Tournament, the result served to reinforce the winner’s status as a contender for the state championship. Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) defeated Bernards (N.J.) 5-0 in the final, the fourth straight season the Panthers defeated Bernards in this tournament.

The same can be said for North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.). The Knights, two days after losing to Oak Knoll in an interconference match, crushed Montclair (N.J.) 6-0 in the championship final of the Essex County Tournament. Natalie Cafone had the hat trick for West Essex.

Oct. 30, 2011 — A reign of error, coming to an end

Late last week, the news came that Women’s Professional Soccer is terminating the franchise held by Dan Borislow, the entrepreneur who bought the Washington Freedom, moved it to Boca Raton, Fla., and renamed the team magicJack FC.

Borislow had been originally seen as the savior of the franchise and the league when he bought out John Hendricks, who had helped run the Freedom franchise all the way back to the days of the WUSA.

However, Borislow started running afoul of people in the league when he originally proposed to have magicJack FC play home games in both Washington and in Florida. That, plus the owner’s unwillingness to communicate his plans to the public, also rankled people in Washington, where the team used to play.

Once the team moved to Florida, the team failed to maintain standards of professionalism on several levels, even to the point of having Abby Wambach come in as the team’s player-coach when Borislow was removed amongst allegations of abusive behavior.

The termination comes as new WPS commissioner Jennifer O’Sullivan’s first major decision, and it also opens the way for attempts at expansion for the league. Supposedly, in the next two days, an ownership group in Connecticut will sign a letter of intention. Plans are also in the works for a number of teams out west to join the league in 2013.

 

Oct. 29, 2011 — BULLETIN: USA 5, Mexico 0

The United States men’s field hockey team, despite not having perhaps its best player and finishing at the bottom of Pool B at the Pan American Games, have life when it comes to joining the women’s national team at the Olympics.

The Boys in Blue defeated host Mexico 5-0 in the fifth-place match at the Pan American Hockey Stadium at Revolution Sports Complex, reversing a 3-2 pool-play defeat. The win gives the U.S. one of four slots that fill out the three six-nation tournaments that are being contested next year to determine the final three qualifiers for London 2012.

The American side had come to New Scotland Road without top gun Patrick Harris, but the side has seemed to jell together after learning some difficult lessons in pool play.

Oct. 29, 2011 — Is the answer to this season the number 500?

Today’s Game of the Day
Belfast (Maine) vs. York (Maine) at Yarmouth (Maine)
We’re having to call an audible here, because the game we originally designated for today was actually played two weeks ago. Instead, we’ll highlight the second game of this afternoon’s championship tripleheader for the Maine state championships. The Class B game sees a couple of survivors making it to the final. Two weeks ago, Belfast played what could be the longest series of alternating penalty corner tiebreakers in National Federation history, as it outlasted Dover Foxcroft Academy (Maine) on a goal scored on the 20th series of alternating penalty corners after a 0-0 draw. York, for its part, held on for a 1-0 win last time out over Rumford Mountain Valley (Maine).


Yesterday, Eileen Donahue of Watertown (Mass.) won her 500th game as head coach. On Tuesday, Matt Soto of Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) did the same. Nine days ago, with her 10th win of the regular season, Bev Osterburg of Stowe (Vt.) also got her 500th victory. The day before, Cathy Keiser of Selinsgrove (Pa.) also got her 500th victory.

This season, there could be as many as six coaches crossing the 500-win plateau. The six are highlighted in red in the below list of estimated current win totals for those around the 500-win mark. This based on The Rebel Project, plus what we think is the right math (we’re never entirely sure). There are 13 coaches ahead of Derr on the current list.

520 Bob Derr, Lititz Warwick (Pa.), 1983-present
507 Claudia McCarthy, Millville (N.J.) 1973-present
506 Becky Miller, Toms River (N.J.) North 1969-2010
502 Cathy Keiser, Selinsgrove (Pa.) 1984-present
500 Bev Osterberg, Stowe (Vt.) 1966-present
500 Matt Soto, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.), Middleburg Midd-West (Pa.), Middleburg (Pa.) 1984-present
500 Eileen Donahue, Watertown (Mass.) 1977-present
496 Judy Kopelman, Miller Place (N.Y.) 1976-2006
495 Patty Provost, Worcester Notre Dame (Mass.) 1973-present
486 Trish LeFever, Ocean City (N.J.) 1980-2009

Like yesterday, if you think we’re off, please send us an email.

Oct. 28, 2011 — USA 4, Argentina 2

FULL TIME Thank you for enjoying our live coverage. Good night, good hockey.

United States (5-0) 3 – 1 — 4
Argentina (4-1) 1-1 –2
USA: Paige Selenski, fg, 15th minute
USA: Shannon Taylor (Katie O’Donnell), fg, 16th
ARG: Noel Barronuevo (Rosario Luchetti), pc, 19th
USA: O’Donnell (Rachel Dawson), pc, 35th
ARG: Barronuevo (Luchetti), pc, 42nd
USA: Michelle Vittese (Dawson), fg, 67th
Shots — USA: 7; ARG: 10; Saves — USA: Jackie Kintzer 8; ARG: Belen Succi 2; Maria Aladro 1

FULL TIME It is now Argentina that has to go into the last-chance qualification round next year — ranked No. 1 in the world, mind — with every opportunity of missing out on the Olympics. It’s not a fair system, and if Argentina fails to qualify for London, this could make FIH rethink how it designs its major tournaments, hopefully bringing it more into line with FIFA

FULL TIME The Americans now go into the Olympics, perhaps dreaming of being a medal favorite. This group of players has a lot of work to do in the next nine months if it hopes to crack the top four; and Falgowski goes back to work this Sunday as she rejoins the University of North Carolina to play against Old Dominion on Sunday in Norfolk, Va.

FULL TIME The telling goal came on a 35th minute corner, when a perfectly-worked hi-lo from Dawson to Katie O’Donnell gave the U.S. a 3-1 lead at the interval

FULL TIME Rachel Dawson was also a stalwart on both ends of the pitch, managing to thwart the Leonas’ attack and finding time to assist on the last two goals for the Stars and Stripes.

FULL TIME The U.S. captain, Lauren Crandall, showed tremendous leadership on the pitch. It’s not the first time she helped a team pip a result against a formidable opponent; nine years ago, her scholastic side, Buckingham Central Bucks East (Pa.) was given little chance against an Emmaus (Pa.) team that was the first team in the history of the National Federation to score more than 200 goals in a season. Yet, Crandall’s team prevailed 1-0 on a goal in the final two minutes of the match to win the PIAA Class AAA state title

FULL TIME And as for the players on the pitch: what a game by Michelle Vittese, who ran the center of the park like it was her own personal fiefdom. The Applebees got a Jim Craig-esque performance by GK Jackie Kintzer, late of the University of North Carolina

FULL TIME It’s a triumph for the American team, for a program which was deemed to be dead in the water after failing to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. Full marks, first of all, to technical director Terry Walsh and head coach Lee Bodimeade for not hitting the panic buttons after losing at Chula Vista and at the Champions Challenge, and after losing a lot of veteran leadership up the middle over the last few months

FULL TIME It’s the first time the United States women have ever won a Pan American Games in six tries. It’s only the third time in history the U.S. has qualified for the Olympics when it’s not been the host country. It is also the first time the United States has ever won an FIH-sanctioned tournament with more than six participants. It is a singular achievement for this group of women and could be the most important victory since the United States Field Hockey Association was founded in 1922

FULL TIME And the Applebees have done it! The United States has upset Argentina 4-2!

69:00 Rachel Dawson takes the ball to the corner flag and the countdown is going on right now!

68:00 The United States is two minutes from qualifying automatically to London 2012

67:50 ARG PC And Kintzer comes up large again on Barronuevo!

67:00 Cesan has a 1-v-1 with Aladro that could have slain the dragon, but the ball is stopped by Aladro!

66:30 Argentina tries to answer back, but Kintzer is huge in the goal cage again!

66:00 USA GOAL Vittese gets the reward of a goal in such a big contest! Full marks to Rachel Dawson who possessed the ball up the right wing, paused, and flipped a pass to Vittese who bounces it in off Aladro! It’s 4-2 USA! Surely this is a golden goal for the Americans, who have never won the Pan American Games!

64:45 Long transfer pass by Argentina goes well wide of the intended target; a shocking ball

62:00 USA PC is busted because of a bad set; Taylor tries to rescue it but it is Argentina ball

60:00 Ten minutes to go, USA 3:2 ARG; who would have thought? Can Lee Bodimeade’s women manage the last 10 minutes of the match? This is going to be an incredible finish

58:10 Argentina fumbles the ball over the sideline; another uncharacteristic error by the current World Cup champions

57:00 Aymar takes it 30 yards over the dashed arc, and is eyed up by Vittese, who does not flinch. The Virginia product is having a scintillating game

54:30 ARG PC Barronuevo’s drag flick is stopped by Kintzer! What a stop!

52:00 Michelle Cesan tries to latch onto the pass in the circle, but cannot direct it on goal

51:30 Argentina’s Aymar has speed in the middle, but her pass is inaccurate and goes over the sideline

50:30 Argentina tries a Route 1 aerial, but Caroline Nichols is calm and resolute in the defense

50:00 Twenty minutes to go, the Americans are up a goal against the top-ranked team in the world

48:30 Selenski with a spinorama in the midfield, chops a backhander into the circle that is defensed

48:00 Garcia tries to penetrate but the U.S. defense comes through again and spirits it away to Selenski

46:50 USA YELLOW CARD Kasold is off the pitch; what can the Albicelestes do here with a player advantage?

43:30 Aymar arcs in and is blocktackled; Katie Reinprecht clears her lines

43:00 USA PC Laubach’s dragflick is wide; the Applebees unable to answer

41:12 ARG PC and GOAL Barrionuevo with another drag flick and the Americans’ lead is cut to one! What a game!

38:45 Soledad Garcia’s backhander is saved by Kintzer

38:30 O’Donnell is upended from behind in the circle; no call? If that wasn’t deliberate, what is?

36:40 Falgowski’s long through ball to Selenski goes over the end line; that could have been the game if there was a connection

35:30 Aymar is dispossessed on the right midfield, and Michelle Vittese, who is having a good game at center midfield, spirits the ball away

35:00 The second half is under way with a change in the goal cage for Argentina; Maria Aladro is in the pads this half. The Leonas’ coaching staff, in bringing in a second goalie, also has one fewer field sub than the Americans do as the gameday roster is limited to the FIH minimum of 16

HALFTIME It is a sports aphorism that a two-score lead in many sports is the most dangerous for the team in front because it is easy for the leaders to be complacent. Numerous articles have debunked the myth; will that hold in this case, or will Argentina turn it on in the second term like it has on so many occasions?

HALFTIME Worse yet, Argentina has to start the second half down a player because of that stick obstruction/green card

HALFTIME Argentina has had much the better of the play when it comes to possession, fouls suffered, and the stick skills. However, the Applebees have scored on 60 percent of the shots they have thrown on goal thus far; three goals and two Succi saves

HALFTIME At the interval, the USA is up 3-1 over Argentina, but there are still 35 minutes to go

34:30 USA PC AND GOAL Just like she did many, many times at the University of Maryland, Katie O’Donnell finishes a penalty corner cutting in from where she started; Rachel Dawson with the high-low and it is the Americans with a two-goal lead and a psychological advantage! Let’s focus you in a bit more: this is against the current FIH World Cup champions

34:09 ARG GREEN CARD Maria D’Elia is suspended for two minutes for a stick obstruction in the circle that leads to a penalty corner; the U.S. appeals for a penalty stroke, but it’s not coming

33:30 ARG PC The shot is saved, and a snowbird results for the Applebees

32:00 Argentina pressuring the USA end; if they get one here it’s a mental advantage for the Albicelestes

29:45 Argentina is called for a 5-yard free-hit violation in its attack end; an uncharacteristic mental error

28:00 On the rescue, Argentina’s Rosario Luchetti gets an open shot in the circle and Kintzer with a 10-bell save!

27:30 ARG PC fizzles with a bad set

26:45 Argentina’s Sofia Maccara with a long hopeful pass that hits the outside of the cage

25:00 USA GREEN CARD and Lauren Crandall is off for two minutes after a tackle on Aymar

24:10 Aymar with another dangerous run into the circle, but Dawson with a huge tackle!

23:00 Another uncharacteristic Argentina turnover leads to a pass from Rachel Dawson into the circle; fortunate to not have been a corner for the U.S. The Albicelestes need to tighten up if they don’t want any more goals conceded

20:15 Aymar turns the corner on Katelyn Falgowski and puts an angled shot on the USA goal; Kintzer is equal

18:05 ARG PC and GOAL Barrionievo puts in a low dragflick to Kintzer’s stick side and the lead is halved; Kintzer got a glove to it but couldn’t keep it out

15:30 USA GOAL Taylor cashes in as a turnover finds Katie O’Donnell, who smartly finds the Syracuse graduate! It’s 2-0 USA over the current world champions!

14:50 The Americans almost get another one as Michelle Kasold’s cutting diagonal finds Shannon Taylor unmarked in the circle, but her deflection is saved

14:00 USA GOAL And on the snowbird going the other way, Paige Selenski scores! She had a 3-on-2 in the striking circle, almost took herself out of the play heading towards the deep right wing, and puts it in off Succi! The Applebees are 1-nil up!

13:00 ARG PC Noel Barronuevo’s drag flick is saved by Jackie Kintzer

10:56 Rebecchi, on the other end of the pitch, blasts the ball over the top

10:00 Paige Selenski gets a turnover and slams the ball into the circle where GK Belen Succi clears; the ball was deflected by Michelle Vittese and would have counted as a goal if not for the goalie’s moonboots

9:45 Hopeful ball for Argentina skids aimlessly over the end line

8:30 Argentina, letting the ball do the work, transfers the ball with seeming impunity from one half of the pitch to the other

7:10 U.S. captain Lauren Crandall tries to get it to forward Jesse Gey in the offensive left wing corner, but is dispossessed

4:30 Argentina’s Carla Rebecchi with a backhand shot that is blocked by the U.S. over the end line

4:00 Aymar, looking like the stick is just a toy in her hands, works through for an angled shot that goes wide of the goal

3:00 The Americans have six people in the offensive right-wing corner, but Argentina manages to send it through for a counter — it’s not a good idea to give up too many of those, either

1:30 Claire Laubach is caught in possession and it’s a free hit in a dangerous position for Argentina; you don’t want to give up too many of those

0:40 Luciana Aymar tries to send it into the circle, but it’s judged to be a dangerous ball

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME The United States is wearing the navy blue uniforms with red and white trim, Argentina in their iconic powder blue and white uniforms

PREGAME At stake today is the PAHF’s lone bid to the 2012 London Olympics. The loser of this match plays in a last-chance six-nation qualifier next year in either India, Japan, or Belgium

PREGAME Interesting to note: the last time these two teams met in a game of this import, the Americans almost beat Argentina in the finals of the 2009 Pan American Cup to take the the Pan American Hockey Federation’s lone World Cup bid, losing 7-6 in penalty strokes after a 2-2 draw after extra time

PREGAME The recent pattern between these two teams is for the United States to come out early and to try to get the first tackle, first foul, first shot, first goal. But what has also happened in the last six Pan American Games finals is that Argentina has ruled the second half through possession play, making the ball do the work, and making the U.S. chase

PREGAME I believe the player to watch for the Americans is defensive midfielder/fullback Katelyn Falgowski. She will have to step up and cover, especially in transition, for the U.S. to not be taken out of the game early. Her comeback after an eight-month absence from the game due to a concussion should be an inspiration to the team

PREGAME For Argentina, the players to keep an eye on are the goalies, Belen Succi and Maria Aladro. They normally don’t do much in many contests, but how can you not get better when you have the Leonas’ high-powered offense shooting at you every day? Yet, head coach Carlos Retegui has made a calculated risk in carrying a second goalkeeper, leaving Argentina with four outfield substitutes instead of five

PREGAME Meanwhile, the Americans come into this tournament a wounded lot. The team does not have the services of central defender Carrie Lingo (knee), center midfielder Kayla Bashore-Smedley (concussion), and goalkeeper Amy Tran Swensen (knee). Head coach Lee Bodimeade does have plenty of youth in the side; half of the 24-woman player pool was a year or less out of college when selected last summer at the Women’s National Championship. But this can only reinforce the notion that the United States has major issues when it comes to retaining field hockey players in the high-performance system after graduating from college

PREGAME Argentina comes into this contest expecting to win. They have the best player in the world in Luciana Aymar, a player who has been compared with soccer’s Lionel Messi because of her touch, flair, and overall class. The team’s head coach, Carlos Retegui, likened his side to F.C. Barcelona in pretournament comments. It leads to thoughts that perhaps Argentina came into this tournament overconfident

PREGAME The United States is playing serviceable, unspectacular hockey, scoring half of Argentina’s output after four games. But the Applebees knew that their lone goal was to get to the championship final against the Albicelestes. Claire Laubach leads the effort with five goals, while Caroline Nichols and Katie O’Donnell have three each.

PREGAME Argentina has steamrolled through its four matches here in Mexico like it was a video game. If you look at the scoring table, the Leonas have poured in a ridiculous number of goals (41) and have the competition’s four top goal scorers — Soledad Garcia with 9, Noel Barronuevo with 8, and Luciana Aymar and Carla Rebecchi have six each.

PREGAME Argentina comes in as the world’s No. 1 ranked team, while the American side is ranked 13th.

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to the Pan American Hockey Stadium at the Revolution Sports Complex in Guadalajara, Mexico for the gold-medal match between the United States and Argentina

Oct. 28, 2011 — Statwatch for games played through Oct. 26

Today’s Game of the Day
Oklahoma City Casady (Okla.) at Tulsa Holland Hall (Okla.)
Casady is coming off a 5-4 loss to The Episcopal School of Dallas (Tex.), while Holland Hall is coming off three straight losses. This is the last chance for both of these teams to prepare for the Southern Prep Conference.


Hi, gang. Now that we’ve got some weather, it allows this site to catch its breath when it comes to statistical analysis.

This week’s most prominent statistical achievement is that Angela Tammaro, the veteran coach of Greenwich (Conn.) Academy, reached her 700th career coaching victory, and is only the third to have done so behind Nancy Williams and Susan Butz-Stavin. Parenthetically — wouldn’t an Emmaus (Pa.) vs. West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.) match be one for the ages?

Also, another statistical rarity: Emma Bozek, the fine midfielder from Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.), became the fifth known member of field hockey’s 30-30 club this past week, joining Chantae Miller of Williamsville (N.Y.) North, Aileen Johnson of West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.), Cori Allen of Voorhees Eastern (N.J.), and Alyssa Parker of Glenelg (Md.). What an achievement, to be able to be a part of as many as 60 scoring plays for your team in a season as a finisher, or a primary or secondary helper.

The following is what we’ve compiled thus far, thanks to, amongst others, HighSchoolSports.net, the Denver Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the Newark Star-Ledger, the Washington Post, the Ann Arbor News, the North County Times, the Worcester Telegram, Masslive.com, The Virginian-Pilot, The Lancaster New Era, the Allentown Morning Call, and the Philadelphia Inquirer:

INDIVIDUAL GOALS SCORED, SEASON
51 Lexi Smith, Florence (N.J.) Memorial
42 Austyn Cuneo, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
41 Mallory Tyler, Louisville Collegiate (Ky.)

41 Aileen Johnson, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
41 Tara Vittese, Cherry Hill Camden Catholic (N.J.)
38 Emily Wold, Freehold (N.J.) Borough
38 Shannon Scavelli, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
38 Heather Morris, Pottstown Owen J. Roberts (Pa.)

37 Natalie Cafone, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
35 Natalia Maurillo, Chatham (N.J.)
35 Caleigh Foust, Harriton (Pa.)
35 Grace Wusk, Yorktown Tabb (Va.)
31 Caroline Troncelitti, Malvern Villa Marie (Pa.)
30 Katie Bechtel, Harrisburg (Pa.) Christian
30 Kayla Cunningham, Allentown Whitehall (Pa.)
30 Carley Thieret, Wexford North Allegheny (Pa.)

INDIVIDUAL GOALS SCORED, CAREER
138 Lexi Smith, Florence (N.J.) Memorial
125 Shannon Scavelli, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
116 Natalie Cafone, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
111 Emma Bozek, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
104 Alyssa Parker, Glenelg (Md.)
100 Mallory Tyler, Louisville Collegiate (Ky.)
96 Caroline Troncelitti, Malvern Villa Marie (Pa.)
87 Aileen Johnson, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
86 Julia Aymonin, Yorktown Tabb (Va.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
31 Alyssa Parker, Glenelg (Md.)
30 Emma Bozek, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
30 Kate Barber, St. Louis Lafayette (Mo.)
24 Aileen Johnson, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
24 Barrett Donovan, Louisville Collegiate (Ky.)
23 Alexa McIntyre, Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, CAREER
113 Alyssa Parker, Glenelg (Md.)
94 Kate Barber, St. Louis Lafayette (Mo.)
64 Julia Aymonin, Yorktown Tabb (Va.)

GOALS SCORED, TEAM
154 Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
133 West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
131 Glenelg (Md.)
131 Yorktown Tabb (Va.)

126 Pottstown Owen J. Roberts (Pa.)
121 Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
121 Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
116 Louisville Collegiate (Ky.)

111 Skowhegan (Maine)
97 Charlotte (N.C.) Latin

WINNING STREAK, TEAM
82 Darien (Conn.)
48 Emmaus (Pa.)
45 Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)

UNBEATEN STREAK, TEAM
93 Darien (Conn.)
63 Watertown (Mass.)
48 Emmaus (Pa.)

GOALKEEPER SHUTOUTS, SEASON
18 Liz Warness, Yorktown Tabb (Va.)
15 Meg Mitchell, Emmaus (Pa.)
14 Maggie Blackwood, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
13 Angelique Kelly, St. Louis Marquette (Mo.)

GOALKEEPER SHUTOUTS, CAREER
70 Alana Barry, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
40 Maggie Blackwood, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
38 Liz Warness, Yorktown Tabb (Va.)
36 Shannon Johnson, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)

I know some of these numbers may be a bit off. So, if you see something missing or errant, send us an email, which should also include a bit of documentation (a website will do) or a coach that can be called to double-check. Thanks for viewing; we’ll try to do better next week.

Oct. 27, 2011 — The east side of Route 31

Today’s Game of the Day
Avon (Conn.) at Granby (Conn.) Memorial
Undefeated Avon (13-0) handed Granby (12-1) its only loss of the season on Oct. 10. The return match should be a dandy.


Pennington, N.J. is a town of just under 2,600 located just north of the state capital of Trenton. When it comes to the game of field hockey, the game has two distinct histories — one on the west side of Route 31, and one on the east.

Pennington Hopewell Valley Central (N.J.) is on the west side of town. The school has had a tradition of field hockey stretching back more than 60 years as one of the early adoptees of the sport, even playing spring seasons under the auspices of the school’s “Girls’ Athletic Association,” a loophole that is no longer allowed.

The team’s fortunes were guided for a quarter century by Barb Skiba, and the school barely missed out on state championship on a number of occasions.

But if you travel just one kilometer east, over the highway and a railway bridge, you find The Pennington (N.J.) School, a private school that had a tradition of coeducation dating back to the 19th Century, went back to single-sex education, then re-admitted female students beginning in 1972.

The history of field hockey at the school has not been the most positive, even after the game was revived in the late 1990s. Despite having a smattering of good athletes in the program, Pennington was never in a good place, being relegated to a grass softball pitch north of the campus along Green Street, and having to fight a never-ending battle for participation on a campus where soccer was a major championship-winning sport for females in the fall.

But a couple of years ago, Wendy Morris came to the program from Sparta Pope John XXIII (N.J.), where she had been coaching the sport for more than two decades. The results have not been dramatic, but the Red Raider program took a major step yesterday.

Pennington School won its first postseason tournament game in program history yesterday, a 2-1 win over perennial NJISAA Prep “B” power Princeton Stuart Country Day School (N.J.).

“We have some really nice players,” Morris told The Trenton Times earlier this month. “The girls are all now doing things in the offseason. A bunch of girls are doing US Field Hockey Futures program. They are going to camp in the summer. It’s going to start making a difference in the program.”

One major difference: the team has moved from the bumpy Green Street grass to an artificial grass pitch for its home games; the current satellite map on Google Maps shows the team in the midst of an actual varsity match.

Yep, you can look for yourself; zoom in to the football gridiron.

 

Oct. 26, 2011 — A season of hope

Today’s Game of the Day
Florence (N.J.) Memorial at Moorestown (N.J.)
These two teams come off close results from earlier this week; Florence defeated Maple Shade (N.J.) to win the BCSL Freedom Division championship, while Moorestown dropped a 3-2 decision to Haddonfield (N.J.) Memorial in the latest edition of the nation’s longest scholastic field hockey rivalry. Both teams have state tournament duties later this week and are using this match as a tuneup.


Portland (Maine) finished its season last night with a loss to South Berwick Marshwood (Maine) in the Class A West final.

But for the Bulldogs, last night was the end of a transformational season for a program that had suffered mightily the last half-decade. Indeed, Portland had not won a postseason game since 2005, yet this year came within one goal of meeting mighty Skowhegan in Saturday’s state championship final.

Portland was supposed to be a decent team this year, but a couple of transfers from private schools bolstered head coach Beth Arsenault’s roster.

The team came back from a rough start to the season and ran of an unbeaten string of 11 games up until last night.

The culmination of the team’s effort came last Saturday, when Portland managed to defeat Saco Thornton Academy (Maine) 1-0 in alternating penalty corners after a 2-2 draw.

While the Bulldogs won’t go on to the final match, their determination and grit should not be forgotten.

Oct. 25, 2011 — Top 10 for the week of Oct. 23

Today’s Game of the Day
Norwalk (Conn.) at Norwalk Brien McMahon (Conn.)
This derby match has a lot more at stake than bragging rights. Norwalk could jeopardize McMahon’s chances at making the state tournament, as the latter is currently ranked 15th in CIAC rankings points. Norwalk, at 11-2-1, is fifth in points.


The upper reaches of the Top 10 remains unchanged, but there are a couple of changes towards the middle, including an upset in Mid-Penn Conference tournament play, which saw Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.) take down Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) in overtime.

The RightToRightIsRight.com No. 11 Team of the Week is Washington Woodrow Wilson (D.C.), which picked up its first victory of the season with a 1-0 win over Washington School Without Walls (D.C.).

1. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 16-0

Royals to meet Clark Johnson Regional (N.J.) in the Union County Tournament final this Sunday

2. Darien (Conn.) 15-0

Closes out regular season at Greenwich (Conn.) tomorrow

3. Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 17-0

Shutout wins against Moorestown (N.J.) and Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) are sending a loud message

4. Glenelg (Md.) 14-0

After last night’s Region V match against Edgewater South River (Md.), the state tournament is ahead for the Gladiators

5. Yorktown Tabb (Va.) 16-0

Tigers have shut out 14 straight opponents, and have conceded exactly one goal this season

6. Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.) 14-1

Topped Putnam Valley (N.Y.) 5-1 last Saturday

7. Emmaus (Pa.) 20-0

Hornets the top seed in District 11-AAA tournament, which they are trying to win for the 23rd consecutive season

8. Lake Forest (Ill.) 20-2-2

Started state tournament play with a 6-0 win over Deerfield (Ill.)

9. Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) 22-1-1

Valkyries play for state championship this Thursday night

10. Ann Arbor Huron (Mich.) 16-1

Shut out last four opponents, including last week’s derby against Ann Arbor Pioneer (Mich.)

11. Washington Woodrow Wilson (D.C.) 1-4-1

Tigers made a first-half goal stand up

Who’s out: Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 2-1 OT loss to Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.); Watertown (Mass.) 1-1 tie with Wilmington (Mass.)

And bear in mind: Fallbrook (Calif.) Union 16-2-1, Lakeville Hotchkiss School (Conn.) 8-0, Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.) 12-0, Walpole (Mass.) 16-0, Watertown (Mass.) 14-0-1, Freehold (N.J.) Borough 16-0, Ocean City (N.J.) 16-0, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.) 16-0, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.) 16-1, Williamsville (N.Y.) North 14-0-1, Cincinnati St. Ursula (Ohio) 14-3-1, Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.) 16-3-1, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 19-1, Stafford Mountain View (Va.) 16-0, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.) 14-0

Oct. 24, 2011 — Washington Woodrow Wilson (D.C.) 1, Washington School Without Walls (D.C.) 0

Today’s Game of the Day
Washington School Without Walls (D.C.) at Washington Woodrow Wilson (D.C.)
We’re having to call another audible here because the game we thought was going to occupy this space was switched out. Still, there is a reason for highlighting this game: it’s only the second D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association field hockey contest in the last four decades.


POSTGAME Full marks to Wilson’s defense, led by goalie Annalis Wiramidjaja, sweeper Monica Diaz-Lopez, and stopper Veronica Durkin. It’s the Tigers’ second shutout of the season, but this time, the offense was able to punch across a late first-half goal

FULL TIME Wilson celebrates a 1-0 win!

59:00 Wilson gets the ball up the field to its attack end and the fans are sensing an historic win

57:30 Walls surrounds the goal but a heroic tackle by Veronica Durkin keeps the Tigers ahead!

55:00 SWW PC Shot is blocked over the end line for a 16-yard free hit

51:39 Walls breaks through into the circle with speed, but Diaz-Lopez is there to repel the Penguins’ attack from her sweeper position! What a game she is having!

47:00 SWW PC Shot is saved by Wiramidjaja, rebound knocked well wide

43:15 SWW PC Shot goes wide after two strong saves by Wiramidjaja; she is having a good game back there

42:00 SWW PC Corner almost goes a-borning after the insert is flubbed

40:00 SWW PC Shot goes wide right on the redirect!

37:00 Schwartz is found on the left wing side but her shot goes inches wide! That could have been a telling goal!

35:42 SWW awarded a penalty stroke for a deliberate foul, but it is easily dealt with by Wilson goalkeeper Annalis Wiramidjaja

34:00 SWW PC is ended with a bad set

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME At the interval, Wilson leads School Without Walls 1-0. Both teams are playing with a decent degree of enterprise and speed; if they put all of the aspects of the game together, watch out

29:04 WIL PC and GOAL Wilson’s Ellen Schwartz puts in Hannah Hill’s pass and the Tigers take the lead! The crowd of about 100 show their appreciation for the first goal in a DCIAA match in some four decades

27:00 WIL PC Passing sequence is cleared!

25:00 WIL PC Insert is fumbled and it’s Penguins ball

22:30 Wilson has the possession on the right wing but cannot manufacture a good chance

15:00 Timeout, Wilson

11:00 Walls attacks the left wing, but Diaz-Lopez interposes and clears

7:00 Walls has a break up the field but it is disrupted by Wilson sweeper Monica Diaz-Lopez

5:00 Wilson is adventurous in the attack end but the attack is ended with an unfortunate foot

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Wilson is in the white tops with the green trim and green shorts, while School Without Walls is in the black with white trim and white numerals

PREGAME There had been public-school field hockey in the District up until the late 60s or early 70s; Wilson was one of the teams along with long-closed or renamed schools like Western and Eleanor Roosevelt

PREGAME Today might see an historic victory in the nation’s capital, one which would be a hard-won victory for one of these two new programs in the D.C. Public Schools

PREGAME These teams met three weeks ago on grass and fought to a 0-0 tie.

PREGAME Welcome to Woodrow Wilson High School in the District of Columbia for this DCIAA field hockey game between host Wilson and The School Without Walls.